Hops and Malt, may God preserve them

“Beer is the proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” – This quote from Benjamin Franklin more than applies to the small Alpine Republic of Austria. For decades beer has been considered one of the Austrians’ favorite drinks. That is why we take you on a journey through the brewery landscape of Austria. But before we introduce you to some of the local breweries, we would like to give you some facts about beer in Austria. Some of them are almost unbelievable. But read them for yourself:

  • Around 103 liters of beer per capita were drunk in Austria in 2019. This puts the Austrians in second place behind the Czech Republic and ahead of Germany. In 2019 a total of about 9.1 million hectoliters of beer were consumed – that is the equivalent of 1.96 billion Krügerl (0.5 liters)!
    There is one brewery for every 39,000 inhabitants – Austria has one of the highest brewery densities worldwide!
  • There are more than 1,000 different beers in Austria – the variety and variety of flavors are therefore unique!
  • The most popular type of beer among Austrians is the Lager-/Märzenbier.
  • Austria, more precisely the Association of Breweries, was the first country to develop a certified three-tiered training program for beer sommeliers.

All right, but enough of the facts. It’s time for the preserves – or just the brew 😉 Get to know four local breweries, which are also by chance (😉) easily accessible from some Falkensteiner hotels:

1) Schladming Brewery

When you think of Schladming, you think of skiing – of the Night Race and the Planai. But what many people don’t know: Schladming also has its own brewery. This is located a good 15 minutes’ walk from our Falkensteiner Hotel Schladming and produces around 30,000 hectolitres of refreshing beer annually, which includes the product range Bio Zwickl, Schnee Weiße Bio, Märzen, and Sepp. The beer is bottled exclusively in crown cork bottles.
In 1909 the Schladming Brewery was founded as the first alpine folk brewery as a cooperative for an annual production of 20.000 hl. In 1994, the company was renamed Schladminger Brau GmbH and in 2002 it was taken over by Brau Union Österreich AG.

2) Braucommune Freistadt

Fresh. Free. Freistädter – 20 minutes by car from the Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Bad Leonfelden the self-proclaimed “most likable beer of Upper Austria” has its origin. Already in 1363 Duke Rudolf IV granted the citizens of Freistadt the privilege to brew beer in their own houses and to serve it there. At that time, however, only those who owned a house within the city walls were considered citizens. To protect their interests, the inhabitants of the 149 inner-city houses joined together in 1770 to form the “Braucommune in Freistadt”. This laid the foundation for the construction of a new brewery house, which was built between 1770 and 1780.

Today the Braucommune Freistadt is one of 44 commercial breweries in Upper Austria and the largest brewery in the Mühlviertel. Its annual production comprises approx. 120,000 hl of Freistädter beer (in 11 different varieties) and approx. 20,000 hl of Freistädter lemonade.

By the way, if you would like to learn more about this brewery: Guided tours through this unique brewing community are possible in small groups (6-15 persons), but registration is required!

3) Gösser Brewery

Less than 10 minutes by car from the Falkensteiner Hotel & Asia Spa Leoben is the green heart of Styria: the Gösser Brewery with the Gösseum (due to the current situation, there are no guided tours!).

Around the year 1000, Countess Adula donated a convent on a piece of farmland where beer was brewed by the nuns. Thus the nunnery Göss was the cultural and economic center of the area until its abolition in 1782. The tradition of brewing beer in the monastery buildings was revived when in 1860 the brewer and entrepreneur Max Kober bought parts of the monastery and reactivated the monastery brewery. This, for Gösser important year, is still noted on the labels today.

Sidefactor: Gösser Spezial was served at the gala dinner for the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 1955. Strengthened by this impressive symbol, Gösser continued its successful path – until today. Today, the Gösser Brewery is one of the most modern breweries in the country.

4) Brewery “Katschbeer” on katschberg

Directly opposite the Falkensteiner Hotel Cristallo on the Katschberg, on the border between Carinthia and the Salzburg Lungau, is the pizzeria “Stamperl”. In late fall 2015, this restaurant was expanded to include a beer bar with its own brewing facility. The special thing about it: It is the highest located brewing plant in Austria to date and one of the highest in Europe.

Thanks to a new, patented brewing process – top secret by the way – up to 1,000 liters of beer are produced here every day. This means that any thirst, no matter how great, can be quenched by the industrious hikers or busy skiers. Particularly popular are our own beer creations Mountainstoff, Werwolf, and Ackergaul. But also the classics Katsch-Beer, and a light lager go well over the counter.

If you want to marvel at the process of brewing beer yourself, you can book a guided tour (including tasting!) every Monday from 4 – 5 pm. Registration is recommended.

Well then, we got a nice thirst. And you? To the tap, ready, go, and all in common Austrian tradition: Prostata – sunst rosta da 🍻